Brian - I removed drivel from both sides of the fence.
Let's not re-write history here. What I DID SAY was if people wanted to have insightful debate about BD's performances, have at it. Most of what was posted didn't seem insightful, rather the disrespectful tone seems to have served as a vehcile to piss people off.
In fact, asserting that the reason a person must like "modern" Bob is because he/she must not listen to any current music is pretty Stalinlike, if you ask me. tmm1966 implies what one should listen to in order to hear music critically.
If were a betting woman, I'd gamble that I probably listen to more artists of different genres day in and day out than a lot of people here, so that argument is total hogwash.
i like how you condemn turning abstract arguments about the merit of bob's current live show into character debates and then call me a stalinist and declare my point of view hogwash
i was speaking from personal experience; i used to be a huge current bob fan, followed setlists and listened to shows obsessively, also obsessed with fashion report, etc etc etc. then i listened to lots of other music (largely modern electronic music which i got into through friends and which i think that everybody should listen to because it's music made now for the mindset and cultural setting of now; you can of course listen to whatever you want, but it's really exciting listening to music that was made literally yesterday) and when i heard recent bob again i was really shocked and couldn't believe that i had once enjoyed this music or understand why.
say what you will, i understand that there is still much to be fascinated by (though interestingly lots of it has nothing to do with the music that bob actually plays, and even less to do with the quality of his singing) in a modern bob show. but few will argue that his voice is a complete mess. i was at the concert tonight and i know it's a cliche, but it's so for a reason - if i had not spent years memorising all of the lyrics to all of bob's songs through osmosis and learning to understand the mumbled, croaky, raspy way he seems to choose to deliver those lyrics today i wouldn't have understood a word.
the heart and soul of bob's songs are the lyrics; who would deny this? the reason that they are such powerful songs is that when sung with conviction and clarity and passion and nuance (also in time and having something to do with the rest of the arrangement of the song helps) they can transport you into other worlds and make you feel everything; they're hilarious, moving, transcendent, beautiful songs. the problem is that bob is currently unwilling or unable to do his songs justice because he's unable to sing their idiosyncratic and fantastic lyrics with any meaning. what's left are nice, but unremarkable performances of his songs by his band with bob barking and wheezing something in which if you're really forgiving you can hear something of the original feeling, and if you're not, or you don't know the songs back to front, sound like garbled nonsense